Sign of the Geese

Someone dumped three geese at the slough.  They must have thought it was a good place.  There had been rains and the creek was flowing – a small stream of fresh water in a brackish mudflat.  Would there be enough fresh water and how could they get food?  One disappeared quickly.  The other two stayed within a hundred yards or so of the road.

People left food for them almost every day.  A couple of farm workers left reject vegetables.  A family with two small girls left bread.  Several times folks put grain out for them  For two months they were a familiar sight.  But the rains stopped.  The fresh water was now a trickle.  And one day they were gone.  I missed them and worried about their fate.

A few days later a small, handwritten sign was stapled to a stake.  “The geese are OK.  They have moved to a house with a pond.”

Abandoned animals point out the best and the worst in people.  Worst in the ones who dump and best in those who rescue.  Thank you for rescuing the geese and thanks for the sign.

[Written years ago after an incident at Elkhorn Slough near Watsonville, California.]